Parolee with knife charged after downtown Berkeley bank robbery

Police said David Godwin had a knife and a “large wad of cash in his hands” when he was arrested.

Berkeley police said they confiscated a knife after a bank robbery downtown Saturday morning. Photo: BPD
David Godwin. Photo: BPD

A 36-year-old parolee with a history of robbery is facing new felony charges after taking cash from a Berkeley bank over the weekend while armed with a knife, authorities report.

On Saturday just before 10:30 a.m., a Bank of America employee called the Berkeley Police Department to report a robbery underway at the bank, at 2151 Shattuck Ave., between Addison and Center streets. The employee said the robber had a knife and threatened to use it, BPD said.

Two Berkeley bicycle officers who were already on patrol in the area arrived within minutes “and spotted the suspect quickly walking away from the bank,” according to BPD.

When they chased the man, BPD said, he ran into another bank nearby. Officers caught up with him and took him into custody. They identified the man as David Godwin, a 36-year-old parolee with no permanent address.


Police said Godwin “was still holding the large wad of cash in his hands” from the bank robbery when officers arrested him. During a search of Godwin, officers also found a large knife in his backpack, according to BPD.

Police arrested Godwin on suspicion of robbery, resisting arrest and parole violation, BPD said.

According to court records online, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Godwin on Tuesday with felony robbery, and alleged it was a serious or violent crime, which could garner a stiffer penalty in the case of conviction.

Godwin already has robbery convictions from 2011 and 2016, according to court records online. He was sent to prison for two years after the 2016 conviction, in which Godwin had entered a no-contest plea, according to court records. The 2011 charge was for the robbery of a transit passenger, according to records online.

The DA’s office also charged Godwin on Tuesday in two other cases, alleging that he exhibited a deadly weapon in November 2020 and revoking his parole.

As of Wednesday, Godwin remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and was being held without bail. He is scheduled for arraignment Thursday at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.